June 20, 2009 in Washington Voices

Refurbished pools make big splash

Valley Mission, Terrace View, Park Road get new features
By The Spokesman-Review
 
J. BART RAYNIAK photo

Terrace View Pool lifeguard Jon Swansen leads the first swimmers to the “lazy river” water feature at the refurbished pool Thursday.
(Full-size photo)(All photos)

The last of three upgraded Spokane Valley pools opened Friday with a snip of the Spokane Valley City Council’s giant scissors.

The final of three “grand re-openings” was held at the Park Road Pool, where a new 27-foot-tall water slide has been installed.

Nicole Livingston, a 7-year-old student at Summit Elementary School, was to take the first trip down the slide as her reward for naming it the “Park Pool Plunge.” Livingston also received 25 pool passes as the winner of a contest to name the slide.

She can use the passes at the Valley Mission Pool, which reopened Wednesday with a new “zero-depth entry” pool in addition to the regular pool, or at the Terrace View Pool, which has a new “lazy river” attraction.

More than 200 kids lined up Thursday at Terrace View, where city officials kept speeches brief by their standards despite Parks Director Mike Stone’s promise to talk no more than two hours.

“Are you ready to get wet?” Mayor Rich Munson asked before passing the microphone to Councilman Dick Denenny. “Are you glad school’s out?”

Denenny pointed out that his family has been using the Terrace View Pool since moving to the neighborhood in 1976.

“These kids represent why we do this sort of thing,” Denenny said, introducing his daughter, Heather Rogne, and her children – Sarah, 4; Caleb, 7; and Josh, 10 – who still live in the neighborhood.

“On to a good summer, so let’s open it,” Denenny proclaimed.

“Finally,” 8-year-old Zack Stratton sighed as Munson, Denenny and Councilwomen Diana Wilhite and Rose Dempsey exercised their oversized scissors on the blue ribbon blocking the “lazy river” entrance.

Don’t tell, but there was a pair of real scissors hiding behind the big ones. There was no word on whether the big snippers were dull from budget work.

Isaiah Hubbard and his friend Jacob Dawson, both 11, were among the first to float down the artificial river in a two-hole tandem tube.

Their verdict?

“Cold,” Hubbard said, meaning the water.

“It’s cool,” Dawson said, meaning the attraction.

Dawson thought the water was warm or, at least, “not freezing.” The ride should be longer, he added.

Denenny’s granddaughter, Sarah, said she liked the “waterfall,” a big blue, yellow and red arch that sprays rafters like sedans in a car wash.

Adriana Best, 6, also like “the waterfall part” best.

She came with prospective stepfather Bret Glow, who said he “had a blast putting her under the waterfall.”

Alice Gubler, 6, also liked the deluge although she found her tandem-tube ride with cousin Breann Veragara, 7, “kind of weird.”

“It was really fun” and the water was “actually warm,” Veragara said.

Tom Osburn came with his granddaughter, 6-year-old Kelly Castanon of San Jose, Calif.

“Her mother was a lifeguard here one time,” Osburn said.

Castanon liked the lazy river.

“It was actually really fine,” she said. “I liked the beginning because it felt like you were just in the water and you would finally float off.”

Some people were easily pleased.

Landen Robertson, 4, said what he liked about the new and improved Terrace View Pool was “the water.”


Thoughts and opinions on this story? Click here to comment >>

Get stories like this in a free daily email